STEVE Bruce believes Sunderland have recruited players who can take them to the next level after the double capture of Sulley Muntari and Stephane Sessegnon.
Sunderland host Champions League-chasing Spurs tonight looking to get their Europa League challenge back on track after losing their top six spot last weekend.
But in the long-term, Bruce believes the African duo provide the quality on the ball that can turn the Black Cats into regular European contenders.
Sessegnon, a £6million signing from Paris Saint Germain, has been coveted by Chelsea and Manchester United while loanee Muntari won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho last season.
“I believe that if you are going to get better, you have to have players who can play good football,” said Bruce.
“If you’re in this league and you want to compete in the top half of the table, that’s what you need.
“What I’ve tried to do is bring in a different calibre of footballer who can take the ball and play and pass.
“We set out with the aim of finishing in the top 10 this season and bringing in quality players like Muntari will help us compete at that level.”
Muntari impressed on his debut at Stoke City last weekend despite just three training sessions with his new team-mates and only seven-and-a-half hours of first-team football at Inter prior to his move to Wearside.
The 26-year-old took a major pay cut to join the Black Cats and Bruce believes that is proof of his commitment to the cause as he prepares to make his Stadium of Light bow.
Bruce said: “There is a lot of talk about greedy footballers these days, but he has taken a substantial pay cut to join us – and I mean a substantial pay cut.
“He’s on something like 40 per cent of the money he was earning at Inter.
“Fair play to him, he has come here because he wants to play and he has brightened the place up in the space of a week.
“He hasn’t played that much this season, but I think you can see why I was so desperate to bring him into the club.
“I didn’t think it was going to be possible for long periods of time – it is very difficult to get a Champions League winner in from a team like Inter Milan – but I’m delighted he is here.
“He put in a good hour for us and was mightily impressive at Stoke before he tired a little in the second half.
“He gives us something we need – a bit of control, he gets forward, he tackles and his passing is second to none.
“He’s a good player, I am delighted we have got him and he can only be a big asset for us.”